Rabbi uses chatbot to deliver sermon to shocked congregation in New York: Warns artificial intelligence will wipe out 375 MILLION jobs in a decade
- Rabbi Josh Franklin leads the Jewish Center of the Hamptons, in East Hampton
- On January 1 he uploaded video of a recent sermon, which was written by A.I.
- The congregation could not guess it was written by a computer
A New York rabbi shocked his congregation by delivering a sermon, and then informing them that the entire text was written by Artificial Intelligence.
Rabbi Josh Franklin, who leads the Jewish Center of the Hamptons, in East Hampton, uploaded the sermon onto the website on January 1.
He can be seen addressing the congregation, and telling them that he is actually plagiarizing, and using a sermon written not by him.
Franklin speaks for five minutes, quoting the Torah and discussing Joseph’s forgiveness, and the eventual saving of the Israelites.
Rabbi Josh Franklin is seen delivering a sermon to his congregation in East Hampton, New York
He warned them that the text was not his own, saying it was ‘plagiarized’ – and then asked the congregation to guess who wrote it
Franklin goes on to discuss the power of opening ourselves up and being vulnerable, and references author Brene Brown – a professor known for her work on shame, vulnerability and leadership.
He concludes with a prayer.
At the end of his sermon, Franklin asks if anyone can guess who wrote it.
Some guess his father, who was a rabbi at Riverdale Temple in the Bronx. Others suggested Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the spiritual head of the United Synagogue, the largest synagogue body in the United Kingdom.
Franklin then revealed, to gasps from the congregation, that the sermon had been written by A.I. program ChatGPT.
Franklin said that the power of the technology left him concerned for jobs – but noted it could not be empathetic
He said his prompt was to write a sermon of around 1,000 words, with the idea of intimacy and vulnerability, and quote Brene Brown.
‘You’re clapping – but I’m definitely afraid,’ he said, to laughter.
‘I thought truck drivers were going to go long before the rabbi, in terms of losing our positions to artificial intelligence.’
He said he warned it would wipe out 375 million jobs in a decade.
Franklin said that the text was not in his voice, and contained rhetorical flourishes he did not like – but it was impressive.
He noted, however, that it could not be empathetic, and respond to the crowd.
‘It can’t love it, can’t show compassion, it can’t connect with the community,’ he said.
‘What we’re really doing is we’re forming relationships. I don’t think ChatGPT or any kind of artificial intelligence will replace us, but it will push us.
‘It’ll force us to evolve in what we do and what we do best.’
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